Chelsea bounced back to winning ways and took a significant step towards the Premier League title as they edged to a 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte's men followed up their surprise weekend defeat at home to Crystal Palace with a gritty and far from convincing display that was all about the result.
The visitors were lively throughout but were undone by Eden Hazard's first-half brace that came either side of Sergio Aguero's 27th strike of the season.
It was all the more important for Chelsea given second-placed Tottenham's dramatic late triumph at Swansea. It means the Blues remain very much in charge of their own destiny, as they are seven points clear at the summit with just eight games to play.
City welcomed back captain Vincent Kompany for only his third Premier League start of the campaign, but saw their eight-match unbeaten league run came to an abrupt halt despite dominating for large spells.
The defeat emphatically ends any outside hopes of a late title tilt for Pep Guardiola's fourth-placed side, who will now be looking anxiously over their shoulder at Manchester United and Arsenal as the race for the final few Champions League places grows ever tighter.
TALKING POINT - The type of result key to winning titles
The jitters have affected the very best over the years and many observers were hoping the weekend loss at home to Palace was a sign Chelsea may allow their rivals back into the race. This result was a real statement that they won't let that happen.
A seven-point gap with eight to play has been overturned in the past but, on this evidence, it's hard to see this Chelsea side relinquishing their grip on top spot as they enter the final furlong. They controlled the second period from a defensive point of view, and although they rode their luck on one or two occasions, they have a resilience to go with the flair of their star attackers that has set them apart this term.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Eden Hazard (Chelsea). Not vintage Hazard, but big-game players produce when it matters most. Conte and Co may well look back on this result as a significant marker on their path to the title and the Belgian's goals were vital.
CHELSEA: Courtois 6; Zouma 6, David Luiz 7, Cahill 8; Azpilicueta 7, Kante 7, Fabregas 7, Alonso 7; Pedro 7, Diego Costa 6, Hazard 8. Subs: Matic 6, Willian n/a, Loftus-Cheek n/a.
MAN CITY: Caballero 5, Clichy 6, Stones 5, Kompany 6, Fernandinho 5, Delph 5, Sane 7, Silva 7, De Bruyne 6, Navas 6, Aguero 6. Subs: Sterling n/a, Nolito n/a.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Hazard at the double as Chelsea maintain title advantage